Drew WilsonWho do you cry to when everyone is used to seeing you smile and they have never seen you shed a tear? They might not understand, they might not get it, they might tell you to be strong and hold yourself together but they don’t know that the tears of someone who does not…
We, in the developed world, take for granted the relative ease potable water is made available to us. Decently maintained water systems (with growing exceptions in the United States; more on that later) and the bottled water industry ensure the nourishing liquid never eludes parched hands. Inundated in fresh water, seldom do we ruminate upon the woes of the approximately 1.1 billion Homo sapiens without access to clean drinking water.
Over a BILLION of our fellow creatures.
We’re not talking about water that tastes like a public pool or inadvertently imbibed seawater. This is the kind of water that would taste like an outhouse or a thunderbox, teeming with deadly microbial beasties, heavy metals, and other hazardous materials. For those curious, the hazardous materials include, but are not limited to: industrial solvents, cleaning agents, agricultural by-products (fertilizers and pesticides), pharmaceutical compounds, radioactive materials, sewage, and medical waste.
I have failed to contain the beachhead these wee beasties have established within the minds of Americans (See Fear 1.0 and Fear 2.0 for my vain attempts). Unlike Ebola, Zika means to stay and torment us indefinitely. And it has succeed at the task because it means to strike at our fecundity. Hell hath no fury like those with compromised reproductive capabilities.
An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine asserts:
Zika virus infection (ZIKV) during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects, yet the magnitude of risk remains uncertain. Investigators studying the 2013–2014 Zika outbreak in French Polynesia estimated that the risk of microcephaly due to ZIKV infection in the first trimester of pregnancy was 0.95% (95% confidence interval, 0.34 to 1.91), on the basis of eight microcephaly cases identified retrospectively in a population of approximately 270,000 people with an estimated rate of ZIKV infection of 66%.